Before I blacked out from yesterday's holiday drinking, I got thinking, in an admittedly muddled sort of way, about another of our GBL shelves, which for lack of imagination we call simply the Drinkin' display.
Writers have long been known to drown their angst in the bottle. And some writers have a lot of angst. Our national literature is full of plastered heroes: Jack London wrote a book called John Barleycorn which documented his lifelong problem with hooch; Hemingway, apparently, could go head-to-head with the more prolific of his characters, one of whom downed three martinis and a few bottles of wine before lunch; and then of course there's Edgar Allen Poe, John Cheever, Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O'Neill, John Steinbeck, Jack Kerouac, Dorothy Parker, Hunter S. Thompson... Well, you get the point.
So, in celebration of (er...) the besotted, we've lined up seven books written by or featuring (or both) stumbling drunks:
Frederick Exley's savage indictment of the 1950s and one of Pete's favorites, A Fan's Notes.
In the Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler wrote: "Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off."
No list like this would be complete without the work of Charles Bukowski (pictured above) who once wrote that "Drinking is an emotional thing." We chose Factotum as a fair representative of his alcoholic genius.
Naturally, we can't ignore my people, the Irish: